Prayer plants are a popular choice for beginner to intermediate indoor plant gardeners. They are valued for their unique geometric foliage and bright colours. One of their most exciting features is their ability to slowly move into a praying position at night. This is, of course, where they get their common name from.
There are almost 50 species of these beautiful plants that we know of so far. From bright lime green to dark purple varieties, there is a type of prayer plant perfect for every home or office!
As long as you understand prayer plant care, here are some popular prayer plant varieties you can grow:
#1 Maranta leuconeura ‘Erythroneura’
The red prayer plant, scientifically named the Maranta leuconeura ‘Erythroneura,’ is one of the most popular varieties. Because of this popularity, they can be easily found in most local nurseries and garden centres.
Plants of the ‘Erythroneura’ variety can be recognized by their emerald green leaves with radiant red veins. Their oval-shaped foliage often has patches of bright green which complements the red amazingly. Thankfully, maintenance and plant care for the Maranta genus is relatively easy!
#2 Maranta leuconeura ‘Kerchoveana’
The Maranta leuconeura ‘Kerchoveana’ variety is another common type and is often called the green prayer plant. This type is very popular for those wanting a subtle and simple-looking plant. The soft and gentle demeanor of the ‘Kerchoveana’ is wonderful for warm and cozy homes.
This variety gets its common name from the gorgeous green hue of its foliage. Each leaf has an almost checkered-looking pattern that makes the plant look like a beautiful piece of art. The ‘Kerchoveana’ variety looks fabulous next to window sills!
#3 Maranta leuconeura ‘Kerchoveana Minima’
The ‘Kerchoveana Minima’ is very similar to the ‘Kerchoveana’ variety. They can be differentiated from each other because of minima’s slightly darker foliage.
This type of prayer plant is another popular option that you can most likely find at your local nursery! They do well living in terracotta pots, hanging baskets, and even in a planter outside if you live in USDA hardiness zones 11 and 12.
#4 Maranta leuconeura ‘Kim’
The ‘Kim’ variety is breathtakingly pretty! If you want to impress your plant-loving friends and family members, this option is perfect.
Just like the ‘Kerchoveana’ varieties, the foliage of Maranta leuconeura ‘Kim’ has a checkered pattern. With patches of dark green and splashes of yellow, this type is great for desks, living room tables, and foyers.
#5 Maranta leuconeura ‘Lemon-Lime’
Maranta leuconeura “Lemon-lime” received its name from the beautiful, contrasting lime green and yellow hues found on its foliage. Each oval-shaped leaf is simply stunning.
Although the ‘Lemon-lime’ variety looks quite similar to the ‘Erythroneura,’ it has neon green veins instead of red. This type of prayer plant exudes youthful energy and would bring a sense of positivity to any space it lives in. They are considered to be rare and highly valuable in the plant community!
#6 Maranta leuconeura ‘Silver Marisela’
The ‘Silver Marisela’ prayer plant can be immediately identified by the shining silver band that runs down the middle of each soft green leaf. This variety is sophisticated and elegant in appearance making it perfect for those in search of a refined-looking plant.
If your home is filled with grey or silver accents, consider growing this show-stopping variety. This type is quite difficult to find so if you do find one, make sure to scoop it up fast!
#7 Maranta leuconeura ‘Silver Feather’
The black prayer plant, scientifically named Maranta leuconeura ‘Silver Feather,’ is modern and sleek. Their silver veins stand out immensely because of their foliage’s extremely dark blue and purple colour.
The ‘Silver Feather’ variety looks striking in monochromatically designed offices and homes. They appear especially eye-catching in rooms painted white, grey, or black. This variety is used mainly for decoration pieces, but can also be valued for its air-purifying qualities.
#8 Maranta leuconeura ‘Fascinator’
Just like the other varieties in this family, the ‘Fascinator’ originates from the tropical rainforests in Brazil and loves to live in this type of warm, humid environment. ‘Fascinator’ prayer plants are quite symmetrical and have light and dark green foliage.
They can be recognized because of their perfectly oval-shaped leaves that have soft maroon coloured veins. If you take a look at the underside of the foliage, you’ll notice this maroon colour is prominent there as well. This variety thrives in environments that mimic its natural habitat. They can make a great addition to bathrooms, windowsills, and kitchens!
#9 Ctenanthe Lubbersiana
Although Maranta leuconeura is technically considered to be the only true type of prayer plant, the Ctenanthe and Calathea genus are two major parts of the Marantaceae family. These plants deserve an honourable mention not only because they are in the same family, but because they are sometimes referred to as prayer plants. In the evening, their leaves move upwards into a praying position just like the Maranta.
Ctenanthe lubbersiana, sometimes called the never-never plant, is an evergreen perennial that is adored by many plant enthusiasts. Their green, cream, and yellow coloured foliage have a lovely tropical appearance. Grow your never-never plant in a terracotta pot and watch it climb up to four feet tall.
#10 Ctenanthe Setosa ‘Gray Star’
Ctenanthe setosa ‘Gray Star’ is another fantastic option. Similar to the Maranta genus, these plants are very geometrical and have an elongated oval shape. These plants come in an assortment of green and gray hues. This gray is especially apparent in the gray star variety.
Their leaves move up and down depending on the time of day which is why they too are sometimes called prayer plants. They can be described as modern, subtle, and tasteful. This makes them a brilliant addition to homes, offices, public spaces, and even gardens.
#11 Ctenanthe Burle-marxii
Another notable variety in the Ctenanthe genus is Ctenanthe burle-marxii, often referred to as the fishbone prayer plant. This variety looks similar to the gray star, but is much more green. Their foliage is oval-shaped with stunning dark green variegation.
These plants do very well living outside. If you do choose to put your fishbone prayer plant outside, just remember to keep it low to the ground and in the shade. You can easily keep these plants indoors as well as long as you prune them occasionally. Whether indoors or outdoors, they will flourish with the proper care!
#12 Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana
Ctenanthe oppenheimiana is known for its large silver and green leaves. They are a common houseplant that does fantastic in indirect sunlight and humid conditions. The undersides of the leaves are made up of beautiful purples and reds. These colours can be seen at night when the leaves shift upwards.
While the Ctenanthe genus is technically considered non-toxic, keep in mind that the leaves may cause mild allergic reactions to humans. If you’re concerned that this may be a problem, keep your plant away from your children and/or pets.
#13 Calathea Orbifolia
Calathea orbifolia is used for its amazing decorative qualities. Compared to the other varieties, the leaves of the Calathea orbifolia are much more round and glossy. With indirect sunlight, proper watering practices, and perfect temperatures, this plant can live for decades.
Although these plants are valued for their gorgeous leaves, if grown outside in a climate that mimics their natural habitat, there is a small chance your plant may start to blossom white and pink flowers. Even though this is a rare occurrence, it is possible and incredibly special!
#14 Calathea Makoyana
Calathea makoyana is much more compact compared to the orbifolia. They are known as the peacock plant because of their unique variegated leaf patterns. Calathea makoyana is native to Brazil and enjoys living in greenhouse environments. Make sure to frequently mist your peacock plant to ensure it lives in the most ideal environment.
The peacock plant is best for intermediate plant growers because of their need for the perfect amount of water and humidity. If you’re up for the challenge, this plant will make a bold and daring addition to your home!
#15 Calathea Ornata
The pinstripe plant, otherwise known as Calathea ornata, is loved for its pink stripes that run along each leaf. The topsides of ornata leaves are a bold dark green while the undersides are dark purple. This mixture of intense colours makes the pinstripe plant extremely eye-catching.
Because of these rich, cool colours, consider placing your ornata next to mahogany or chestnut furniture. If your home or office has beige, cream, or dark purple walls, this Calathea may be perfect for you! Don’t forget to implement the right plant care routine because this genus is known to be difficult to keep alive.
#16 Calathea Warscewiczii
The last plant on the list is Calathea warscewiczii. Often referred to as calathea jungle velvet, these prayer plants are dark, velvety, and mysterious. The warscewiczii is possibly the most interesting and exotic looking plant on this list.
Their velvet foliage makes them stunning decorative plants. They look great on bookshelves, coffee tables, and even on the ground if living in the right pot. They are non-toxic so you won’t have to worry about your dogs, cats, or children.
It’s important to note that calathea jungle velvet is much more difficult to take care of compared to their cousins in the Maranta and Ctenanthe genera. They need high levels of humidity and extra love when it comes to watering. With the right care, these velvet plants can become beautiful mature houseplants!
There is an abundance of beautiful prayer plants to choose from! Go to your local garden centre and search for the right one for you.
From the bright ‘Lemon-lime’ variety to the dramatic Ctenanthe setosa ‘Gray Star’ all the way to the mysterious Calathea warscewiczii, there is a prayer plant cultivated for every person’s taste. Whether you’re looking to add one of these striking plants to your garden, home, or office, they will surely bring a smile to your face!
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